Alonement is a term coined by Francesca Specter, meaning quality time spent alone. You can find her site here, and her book here.
This book would be perfect for anyone wanting to embrace and celebrate alone time.
I have always loved being alone. I grew up an only child (though I later found my siblings online), and my parents died young so solitude was part of the package. I spent a lot of time alone. I read a lot. I kept diaries. I learned to love it.
I guess I am an extrovert introvert. I am good in social situations and I have always worked with people. But I love being alone. Soaking up and revelling in solitude recharges my batteries. There is nothing better.
I have always loved going to movies alone (you don’t have to worry about whether someone else is enjoying the movie), travelling alone (you meet other people and can do exactly what you want), and living alone (total freedom). I have always enjoyed being single and being able to live my own life. But I have realised that solitude and being solitary is not for everyone.
Our society is made for couples and families. If you travel alone you usually have to pay a single supplement for rooms and cruises. If you buy food you have to either buy a family pack or pay a fortune for a single serving. There are restaurants who do not encourage single diners, or seat you near the kitchen. Often when you are single, your coupled-up friends don’t want to invite someone without a partner. Or – even worse – every woman in the room thinks you are there to steal their husbands—
So books like Alonement are really great to help find comfort in solitude – particularly in times like these where many people are force out of necessity to isolate.
To me, alone time is a pleasure and always has been. I am a freelancer and during the Covid lockdowns I hardly changed my routines. I may have slowed down some due to incoming work going from a steady stream to a trickle, but I loved it. Time to read the hundred books piled up in the gotta-read pile, not to mention the NYRBs and Paris Reviews. And then being able to listen to the music I love and napping when I want to. One rule to coming out a winner with your alone time is no daytime tv. It can be a killer.
I just called my local, independent bookstore and ordered “Alonement”. The owner rewarded us by staying open all through these trying times (when the authorities permitted), and her cohort of loyal customers reward her by buying only from her and not the you know whos.